Trapping Season

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OFA Officers

Jonathan Coleman
President

Chris Kimble
Vice President

Bart Russell
President-elect

Shane Bullard
Treasurer

Rob Huber
Secretary



OFA is an affiliate of the North American Falconers' Association

OFA is a proud contributor to The Falconry Fund

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OFA Is a proud contributor to Quail Forever

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Name?

Gary Hale

 

Where do you live? 

Tulsa

 

Job or School? 

 Artist, principally wildlife sculpture

 

Family? 

Wife Mary and two daughters, Dana and Lauren

 

What got you interested in falconry?

Too long ago to remember but the sight of any raptor used to get my motor running and in truth still does.

My younger brother Randy was similarly afflicted. We would buy a set of welders gloves, he would take one and I would use the other (which is the reason that today I still hold a bird on my right fist  (couldn't hood a bird with my right hand if I tried).

We were largely on our own. Eventually we started meeting some other falconers in the area; Mark Waller, Kevin Leggett and Dave Eslicker, and Rob Huber. We learned from each others successes and failures.

  

What birds do you currently fly?

None at present, need to concentrate on other things so I'm trying hard to resist the temptation.

 

What birds have you flown in the past?

Many redtails and harris hawks mostly passage, a gos, coopers, couple of sharpies, kestrels, prairies (tiercels) and a jack merlin last year (with a little help from my friends)

 

What was your favorite bird and why?

Tough question...probably one of the passage redtails. Particularly in their first season they have little self regard for their own well being and show such reckless abandon when they go for something. That being said the jack Richardsons I flew last year was a lot of fun!

 

 What birds do you plan to fly or would like to fly?

More of the smaller accipters, the aplomado and would love to try another merlin,  just wished I was closer to more suitable terrain.

  

Do you have other animals?

Two terriers (one too many) 

 

Favorite falconry story?

At one of the NAFA meets in the early 70's Mark Waller and I had the opportunity to see Al Nye fly his female german gos at rabbits.  We arrived early in the morning at the hunt site, an area of fields surrounded by industrial buildings and criss-crossed with train tracks.  The skies were overcast, winds were qualm and the humid air still held a chill from the nightime lows.  The kind of conditions where sound really travels.

Soon after entering the field a rabbit broke from cover and all I remember seeing is a long grey streak as the gos overtook it.I had never seen anything move that fast!  As the goshawk stood victorious over her prize she let loose with her 'victory cry'... a series of loud cacs that rang out, echoing back and forth off the surrounding buildings. Would love to see a replay of that flight!

 

Funniest falconry story?

 One winter in the early 70's Mark W. and I had the opportunity to visit the well known falconer and author Hal Webster at his home south of Denver. Mark (15 1/2) had just received his 'learners' driving permit so I was the 'licensed driver in the front seat' that the law required.

Driving back to Mr. Websters house late one night following the days adventures we were having considerable difficulty trying to distinguish the twisting snow covered road from the equally snow covered landscape. The dim penlights that the VW beetle had for headlights weren't helping. I can still hear myself yelling "left...Left...NO LEFT!!!!  Whomp! We were in the ditch up to our gills in snow and there was no getting out. No cell phones (not invented yet!) so it was walk out or freeze to death. As we began the long walk for help I looked up at the clear night sky to see the constellation Orion smiling down on us (or was he

laughing?). After an eternity, Eureka!...a light on the horizon, coming from the window of a tiny cabin, wood smoke drifting out of thechimney. A kind old rancher invited us inside to warm up by the crackling fire and to use his antique dial phone. It worked and before long Mr. Webster arrived and pulled us out with his 4WD and we were back on our way.

To this day whenever I see the Orion constellation in the winter sky I think of that night and hear a distant voice calling 

left...LEFT!... 

 

Favorite quote?

Before you think outside the box you have to know what's in the box!

 

What is the best tip that you would give someone new to the sport?

See above quote and keep it in perspective. Don't let it control your life to the detriment of the relationships that are important in your life. More then a few relationships have been on  the rocks because a falconers priorities were out of wack. Just my opinion. It is somewhat in the nature of the sport and hey it's the American way...'If so much is good, more is better and too much is just enough!'

 

Who have you sponsored?

Matt  Gould

 

What goals do you have for your falconry experience?

A merlin would be one bird I would love to try again...they are such cool little birds.  I would also like to try to get a redtail to hunt from a pitch...I know it's been done and I'd love to try it. 

 

Contact Info you want public?

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Featured Member

January, 2018

Bob Clark


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Featured Raptor

January, 2018

Bullseye


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